Favorite Books of 2014 Five novels, five memoirs, one giddy adult who loves to read.

Some people talk about kids in a candy store as an image of pure excitement and unadulterated joy. I have never been that kid. But bookstores? Libraries? Lists of books at the end of the year to help me figure out what reading pleasure I might have in the weeks and months ...

The Problem with Christmas CardsI love those happy faces. But I love the Christmas story even more.
The Problem with Christmas Cards
Jeff Weese/flickr

Last spring, after months of looking at the smiling faces of dozens of family members and friends who lined the doorposts of our dining room, I insisted they had to go. My husband and son conspired and relocated the strands of Christmas cards stapled to long pieces of ribbon ...

The Myth of the Exceptional WomanThe false premise that divides women who lead from women who might.
The Myth of the Exceptional Woman
bbaltimore/flickr

I had been at Azusa Pacific University for less than a semester when I found myself riding along with my mentor, Sarah Sumner, to a speaking engagement in downtown L.A. Once we arrived, I was floored by the depth of her knowledge and by her captivating teaching style. She ...

Have a Wonder-full Christmas SeasonWhat my children have taught me about wonder and waiting.
Have a Wonder-full Christmas Season
Cathy Stanley-Ericson/flickr

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Signs and wonders. A phrase so common in the Bible that the word “wonder” appears 109 times. According to the dictionary, wonder:

The feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

Children ...

Disability Is Different in AfricaWhat one family has learned from serving families in Zambia through the Special Hope Network.
Disability Is Different in Africa

About six years ago, the Nelson family came over to our house for dinner. Holly and Eric Nelson have three children—Maggie, Mollie, and Sam. All three were adopted as infants, and all three have Down syndrome. I met them for the first time when they were teenagers, and ...

Grace Amid an Ordinary ChristmasCan grace show up in the midst of sickness, snow days, Monopoly, and a manger?
Grace Amid an Ordinary Christmas
Kurt Edblom/flickr

I’m probably not alone in entering the Christmas season with some combination of eager anticipation and dread. I won’t go on and on about the shopping and the baking and the parties, but I will note that this celebration also falls at the beginning of the sick-and-snow ...

Dear White Brothers and Sisters: Why #BlackLivesMatter Matters to YouEric Garner and Tamir Rice did not deserve to die. A guest post by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson.
Dear White Brothers and Sisters: Why #BlackLivesMatter Matters to You
velocity/flickr

In light of the ongoing civil unrest following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the recent grand jury decision on Eric Garner's death at the hands of police in Staten Island, New York, I asked the various writers who contributed to an August blog series ...

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